The fauna of insects is shrinking so fast that it can completely disappear in the next century, the report says scientists from Sydney and Quislings universities and the Chinese Academy of agricultural Sciences in Beijing. Having studied published in the last thirty years 73 scientific work on the reduction of the number of insects, the researchers analyzed the reasons why. The findings, published in the journal Biological Conservation disappointing: the total insect population is reduced by 2.5 percent per year. This is a catastrophic pace.
The report States that the number of 40% of species have declined, with a third of them are threatened with extinction. In mammals, birds and reptiles, the rate of extinction below eight times, scientists are sounding the alarm.
“If you do not stop the disappearance of insects, it will have disastrous consequences for the survival of humanity,” says one of the authors of the report Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney.
“Two and a half percent annual losses over the past 25-30 years are shocking. It is very fast. In 10 years we will have a quarter less insects in 50 years will be only half, and after 100 years, they will not really.”
The main cause of this phenomenon scientists call a habitat loss that is due to the intensive agricultural activity of man. In addition, researchers have identified other reasons for the extinction of insects: pollution by synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, biological factors (exposure to pathogens, destruction or substitution of alien species), and climate change. The last factor particularly affects tropical areas, but overall, plays the most important role, the report noted.
The disappearance of insects start a chain reaction. Malnutrition will kill many species of birds, reptiles and amphibians. Moreover, the shortage of food can lead to the fact that some species of birds (more specifically, 60 percent of birds eat only insects), will begin to hunt for other bird species. The study notes that this was already in Australia. The lack of insects has led to the fact that the birds started to attack each other. The insects will also lead to the disappearance of many species of plants. Scientists estimate that about 80 percent of wild plants are pollinated by insects.
Affected agriculture itself. Insects not only pollinate plants, but also prey on other pests. Without their protection, malicious insects can destroy crops and hinder growth of seedlings.
How to fix the situation
The authors of the report believe that humanity needs to reconsider the ways of growing food. In particular, the authors call for a major reduction in the use of pesticides and move towards more ecological methods of growing food.
“If we don’t change our methods of food production, insects as a whole will almost disappear in a few decades. The consequences for the ecosystems of the planet will be horrible,” warned the study.
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